Israel was the Lord’s “vineyard” (Isaiah 5:7), but as Jesus said, the “tenants” were determined to mistreat and kill the “heir” who was the “beloved Son” of the owner. Jesus quoted Psalm 118:22-23 to the scribes. They were “the builders” who rejected the “Cornerstone” of God’s kingdom. The men who had so recently questioned Jesus’ authority “perceived that He had told the parable against them.”
“Some of the Pharisees,” together with the well-placed “Herodians,” were eager to trap Jesus into speaking against the Romans. They asked His opinion concerning the taxes that were paid to the empire. Whose image was on the denarius? Caesar’s? Then give him the coin,” but yield “to God the things that are God’s.”
The resurrection-denying Sadducees tried to expose the Lord Jesus as an ignorant man. The brought an inquiry about seven brothers. Each had the same wife because of the successive deaths of all the siblings. “Whose wife will she be” in eternity? Jesus’ response: They did not understand what heaven was like, and they did not comprehend the passages that proved that the God “of the living” had a continuing acquaintance with His elect who had long since died on earth.
The one true God exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Lord of Psalm 110 who is forever at the right hand of Jehovah. The scribes were far from Him. They had showy piety, but were known to “devour widow’s houses.” Much safer to find humble examples of genuine holiness, like the poor woman who quietly gave her penny to God, which was “everything she had.” Just as Jesus became poor for us and then served us by His death, we are to bestow upon Him not only whatever riches we possess, but even our weakness and our wounds. He is able to take our emptiness and turn it into an offering of great value.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Great Teacher and Shepherd of our souls, show us again the truth of the Messiah. We want to hear Him and obey. Many religious men have sought only to trap Jesus and kill Him. Your enemies would use subordinate earthly rulers against the King of kings. Father, we believe in You and we cling to the hope of the resurrection. There we shall gaze upon our Savior. We long for that day when angels and redeemed saints will usher us into Your presence. Lord, grant us grace so that we will love You now the way that we will surely adore You then. When we are near Your Son and His church, we are not far from Your Kingdom. Bestow upon Your servants power in teaching the Scriptures to Your people. Open up to us the mysteries of the faith that have been revealed in Your Word. May we also see the perfect pattern of generous and happy living in the cross of Christ. Out of our poverty we will give to You all that we have.